The Shale Gas Advisory Board called for “making information about shale gas production operations more accessible to the public; taking immediate and long-term actions to reduce the environmental and safety risks of shale gas operations, with a particular focus on protecting air and water quality; creating a Shale Gas Industry Operation organization committed to improving operating practices; and continuing research and development to improve safety and environmental performance.”
More at UPI.com.
The City Council of New Martinsville, West Virginia voted to ban Marcellus Shale gas drilling within their city limits. However, their next meeting was filled with people who objected to the ban. Now they plan to reconsider.
More at FuelFix.com.
An article in the New York Times reports that the State of New York has sued the federal government to force an environmental assessment of the potential risks of hydraulic fracturing, a widely used method for enhancing natural gas and oil production from tight reservoirs.
Natural gas is a key factor in our long-term energy strategy. A panel of experts has been tasked with finding immediate steps to make hydraulic fracturing cleaner and safer. More in the New York Times.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission hopes to generate millions of dollars in revenue by expanding the natural gas leasing program on Pennsylvania Game Lands. More in the Wall Street Journal.
Hydraulic fracturing was banned within the city limits of Buffalo, New York as the Buffalo Common Council passed the “Buffalo Community Protection from Natural Gas Extraction Ordinance”. An article on the EPOnline.com website reports on the vote and includes a video showing some of the public testimony that was received before passing.
An article in the Lancaster Eagle Gazette explains how the State of Ohio is taking in very little from oil and gas drilling being done in the state and compares their income with that of other oil and gas producing states.
A letter published in The Ithaca Journal complains about the many foreign companies who have purchased major stakes in United States gas shale companies.
The Marcellus Shale, Utica Shale and Upper Devonian Shales are beneath many of Ohio’s State Parks. Some members of Ohio State Government would like to obtain the lease and royalty monies from those lands while environmentalists oppose that drilling. More in the Columbus Dispatch.
The Baltimore Sun has an article reporting that Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s administration wants to delay Marcellus Shale drilling in Western Maryland for two years – which is needed for a study of drilling risks.
The Common Council of Buffalo, New York voted to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing within city limits. In addition, it bans the disposal of drilling waste water anywhere within the city. More at Empire State News.
An article in the Business Journal Daily explains why many state, county and community governments are interested in offering their land for natural gas drilling. This article focuses on county governments in northeastern Ohio who consider leasing their Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale acreages.
An article in the Montreal Gazette says that development of the Utica Shale in Quebec is encountering public opposition. In Quebec, landowners do not directly participate in natural gas royalties and lease payments as is customary in the United States.
An article on the WBOY.com website explores some issues related to out-of-state workers who have jobs in the new shale gas plays. The article seems to be written from the understandable perspective of an unemployed person who lives in the gas play rather than a gas industry manager who needs to get wells or pipeline completed as rapidly as possible.
Natural gas has been found in two private water wells in Parker County, Texas. The nitrogen content of the gas may determine if Barnett Shale drilling activity by Range Resources is the source or if the source is shallower rock units. More in the Washington Examiner.
Two household water supplies in Parker County, Texas are contaminated with methane. EPA says that the gas came from Range Resources wells drilled into the Barnett Shale. Range Resources says that the gas came from the Strawn Formation which is much shallower. More in a Star-Telegram.com article.
The Texas Railroad Commission’s Rule 37 is the subject of an editorial in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The author explains how this rule that regulates the spacing of oil and gas wells seems to be used to as a way to avoid dealing with Barnett Shale holdout landowners.
In a blog post on the Reuter’s.com website, Christopher Swann, argues that Washington could take easy steps to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, reduce carbon emissions and save citizens money by promoting the use of natural gas in vehicles and electricity generation. He thinks that the natural gas lobby needs to work harder than those promoting coal and railroads.
A blog post at BizJournals.com by Lauren Lawley Head includes a large number of quotes related to the Marcellus Shale from an “agency accomplishments” report by John Hanger, former director of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Local governments are starting to ban natural gas drilling within their areas of jurisdiction. Here’s another example from Maryland. Some people believe this is a “protection” and others believe it is a “taking”… but it will probably produce horizontal drilling on the outskirts of town. More at Bloomberg.com.